Updated Febuary 7th, 2015: TurboTax has resumed e-filing of most state returns as of 3 pm Pacific on Friday, February 6. We’ll keep you updated with more info as we get it in here at Software Voucher.
February 6th, 2015: What a bad start to the tax year for TurboTax. First, backfire from long-time customers because of the removal of popular forms in the Deluxe desktop version causing users to have to upgrade to more expensive versions. This caused so much uproar that Intuit reversed course on it’s decision and promised to bring all the forms in 2016. Now we learn that the’ve temporarily halted State tax filings due to potential fraud – With even some states going as far as banning any tax returns that were prepared using TurboTax.
What we know so far.
At this moment, not much is known as Intuit is not releasing any specifics. But here’s what we can confirm at this time:
- As many as 19 States have identified fraudulent returns coming to then from fillers using TurboTax – Including New York, Georgia, Minnesota, Utah, and Alabama.
- Apparently the issue in Minnesota was significant enough for the state to temporarily ban any tax returns from users using TurboTax. And Vermont has temporarily suspended all tax refunds (upwards of 8,600 returns filed this year so far).
- TurboTax has halted filing all tax returns in all 50 states as a result of the suspected fraud.
- A third-party security expert (Palantir) has stated that there is no proof at this time that any breach occurred in any TurboTax/Intuit databases.
- Federal tax returns are not affected at this time. That’s likely due to the increased difficulty in filing fraudulent Federal tax returns.
Why is this happening?
It’s suspected that criminals as using stolen personal identity information (i.e. Social Security number, email address, date of birth, etc.) stolen from somewhere else to file fake tax returns in an intent to collect issued tax refunds. As it is early in the tax season, these criminals are hoping that you don’t notice that a tax return has already been filed in your behalf. At this time, it’s suspected that the stolen info is coming from either a 3-party data breach (like the Anthem data breach from a few days ago) or by an extensive phishing/spyware scam.
What can you do?
If you are a TurboTax customer and you believe that you were affected by this data breach (for example, you’re received a confirmation email that your tax returns were processed when in fact they have not yet been filed), then call this help number immediately for assistance in straitening out the issue: 1-800-944-8596. TurboTax has already committed to providing affected customers with free identity protection and credit monitoring. They have also stated that they will help file tax returns for any affected customers for free this year.
Look out for most information to come out in the coming days in the press room at intuit.com.